Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sorta Recommended Read - The Seekers of Fire by Lynna Merrill

The Seekers of Fire (The Masters That Be, #1)The Seekers of Fire by Lynna Merrill
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

There were some grammatical errors that got distracting at points on my Nook. The characters and setting was interesting, but unfortunately they got drowned out by an overly complex plot and some confusing moments, especially in the middle. Perhaps with better transitions it would be a more fluid read.
The storyline itself was intriguing, but it could use a bit of tweaking in terms of writing style before I could give it another star.

View all my reviews

First Reads Flop - So Much Pretty by Cara Hoffman

So Much PrettySo Much Pretty by Cara Hoffman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I just could not get in to this story like I wanted to. It was disjointed, moving between both characters and timeline without regard for the reader. The underlying message was solid - that there often isn't justice and that when we take it into our own hands it just get worse. But the story as a whole wasn't very good and I found myself often bored with the rambling style of writing. I'll admit I even skimmed a few pages here and there to see if anything exciting was going to ever happen. Overall, this book wasn't my style.

View all my reviews

Recommended Read- Travel Agents Attack Online Marketing by George Oberle

Want some fries with your Catch Up?

That's not really the most witty post title, but it will have to do! ;) I wanted to let you all know that I am alive and thriving, I've just let time get the best of me between school and work and my wonderful new travel agency (which you should totally book through).
I didn't realize how long it's been until I noticed that I have reviews on Goodreads that I haven't posted here that were dated back in May...
So anyway, I'm going to try and play catch up over the next few months and see if I can't whip this blog back into the wonderful shape it used to be in. And speaking of shape, I'm on a diet so I never should have mentioned fries because now I'm hungry.... dang.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sorta Recommended Read - The Aslaric Vampire by David Weaver

The Aslaric Vampire (Eternal Death, #1)The Aslaric Vampire by David Weaver
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The writing is a bit choppy at parts, and the characters don't feel like they are properly introduced. There are a few grammatical errors and it got a little too predictable at parts. It seems to have drawn quite a bit from the "Twilight" series, which makes it a little unoriginal. I love vampire stories, but this was only ok and I'm not sure if I would read the second book.

View all my reviews

What's Up Wednesday - Great Deals, Great Schmeels

Yep, I probably made "Schmeels" up... but I'm allowed, because I say so. ;) Today's trip around the blogosphere took me to some very interesting and informative places, and also clued me in to some great deals (other than my very own Christmas in July deal, which I HIGHLY recommend participating in!!).

Peace from Pieces shared some pretty darn awesome deals on eBooks - as in, FREE eBooks - that got me wondering if I could find the time to get them all downloaded and still read this year. And then I remembered that I literally just bought a new book today at the book store, and had about 10 at home waiting for me not counting all my previously downloaded eBooks... so in other words, yep I'll probably download all of these as well! ;) Reading for Sanity also provided an excellent list of places to look for eBook deals, which means that I will now probably have an even larger backlog of books to read...

Always Writing talked about the importance of word of mouth, and how it takes for-freaking-ever before it truly catches on, especially when it comes to self-published or independently-published books. I totally get that - as a new travel agent, it's been painstaking trying to get the word out about what I do, without any budget at all for "official" advertising!! I've had the same problem promoting my self-pubbed eBooks.

Saving Your Green always has great deals, but I especially liked the song download one today. My husband is to song downloads what I am to books - totally addicted - and so I will probably pass this his way and see if he can avoid paying for any more music today (though, by the time I get home from work, he probably will have already downloaded a few).

Catching up on 366 Random Acts of Kindness always puts me in a great mood and puts a smile on my face. If you aren't following this fantastic blog, I highly recommend it. The blog author has been doing one random act of kindness per day, with everything from providing lunch to a homeless person to today's act of donating  to a cancer research fund. I am a HUGE fan of giving back  - both my previous t-shirt printing business and my current travel agency had/have a focus on donation and helping out the community. For my current business, that's donating 10% of my earnings directly toward a fund to send a low-income families or couples on vacations and honeymoons (you can check my measly status at:, though it will be updated Friday with my latest commission check).

That also tied in with Katie O'Sullivan's post on spreading kindness. It's always important to remember that everyone has battles - some may feel less "relevant", but they still are relevant to the person fighting them!

Blog Giveaways highlighted a giveaway for VODKA... 'nuff said!

I learned a new word from Born Bookish: billet-doux. You'll have to go to her post to find out what it means, but I'll give you a little hint - you participating in my Christmas in July event would be like a little billet-doux to me!! :)

Finally, I briefly traveled part of the world with The Traveling PhoBlogWriPher and The Page Sage, who showed me both Wyoming and Greece. Oopa Y'all!! :)

Booksy - Christmas in July

If you read my last post, you can probably guess where I came up with this weeks' Booksy theme! :) (and if you haven't read it, you should - click here).

So, if you don't want to book travel through me as part of my Christmas in July event, or if you do but still want to buy additional great gifts, check out these fun Etsy items:

- Get in the holiday spirit while writing your next great novel with this red and green journal!

- Fill your tummy with holiday treats year round with two Gooseberry Christmas cookbooks!

- Crank up the a/c, then cuddle under a Christmas Book quilt while reading your favorite book!

- Show your holiday spirit with this quote from the Grinch!

- These colorful stockings look like they could hold a couple of paperbacks!

- Use one of these felt Christmas lights as a bookmark, then share the rest with friends to spread some holiday cheer!

- Light up your room by putting a light into this Christmas catalog paper ball!

- Finally, revel in the clever word (and image) play on these fun holiday cards!

Happy un-holidays! :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

It's a Christmas in July SALE!

That's right - you no longer have to wait until the last minute to get the perfect gift for the book lover in your life - send them on the cruise of a lifetime with 4 wonderful female authors!

Here's how it works:
Book and put down a deposit of at least $100 for the Bookish Babes in the Bahamas cruise in May of 2013 to receive one eBook or hard copy book from each of the following authors: Coral Russell, Teri Guiliano Long, Heather Huffman, and Monica Leonelle - great for reading before you go on the cruise to meet the authors themselves! Plus you will receive a FREE listing at if you are the owner of a book review blog or author blog, AND you will get a free eBook copy of Jessica Buike's short story Twin Rivers AND you will receive a free mystery gift!

Plus, EVERY BOOKING ENTERS YOU TO WIN A $50 GAS GIFT CARD!! No limitations - each individual booking will enter your name into a random drawing to win a $50 gas gift card. There will be ONE winner for this special gift.

There are some other Christmas in July offers as well, if you are unable to make the Bookish Babes cruise - just check out for more information and to book today!!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Shameless Stuff #7: Dress to Show Some Skin

Here's the thing - I'm a curvy kind of gal, so I generally don't make it much of a habit to show skin, other than arms and legs.

Lately, I've gotten more curvy... or perhaps more accurately, fatter. Now I've got a muffin top on top of my muffin top, a rear that could use a back up warning signal, and a chest that pops buttons off shirts. Only one of those is moderately ok with me!

Most of the weight gain came about from two larger events - 1) being diagnosed with an uncommon joint condition that makes stairs, traditional bicycling, and too much walking utterly painful, and 2) finding out that I could no longer eat gluten.

In the last two years, I've tried just about every diet I could to try to lose weight. This includes "tried and true" methods like Weight Watchers (which isn't very adaptable to a gluten free diet unless you basically want to go on a sugar overload all the time) and less known methods like The Joy Life Diet.  Added to the limited amount of physical activities that I could do to lose weight, they only succeeded in making me extremely exhausted and starving all the time.

Anyway, so I had just about given up, but then I stopped fitting into a whole lot of my favorite outfits. That, coupled with the fact that in January I will be going on a cruise and would like to attempt to wear a swimsuit for at least part of the cruise, has renewed my zeal for attempting weight loss!

I buckled down and bought a FitBit on the recommendation of my brother, and this morning I pulled out my workout clothes and headed to the gym on campus (perhaps the only perk of being a college student right now).

You're probably thinking, "but what does that have to do with showing some skin?"

Sadly, a lot.

My workout clothes are a bit ill-fitting with all the extra pounds I have put on... so they showed a lot more skin than I wanted to, mostly due to the fact that my shorts were being swallowed by my rear!

Long story short - I'd like to be able to go to the gym without flashing anyone, and by January I'd like to be able to wear a swimsuit with some tiny bit of pride! ;)

If any of my lovely readers have a FitBit, feel free to friend me here. Additionally, if any of you are involved with Earndit (a way to get rewards by tracking workouts via various methods, including FitBit), you can follow me here.

Here's hoping for success!